More Support for Family Caregivers

Across the country, AARP is fighting for family caregivers like you. Because all you do to help your parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home and in the community deserves recognition and support. That’s why we’re working for help at home, workplace flexibility, training and more. Stay up to date on the important issues that affect you and your family &emdash; in your state and nationwide.

Jerry from North Dakota

Hi,

My wife(Faith) was discharged from Sanford Hospital 11/1/2014. Prior to discharge the charge nurse told me I would need to watch and listen, because I would be the caregiver at home. My wife had shoulder replacement, so I needed to know how to assist in removing and attaching the shoulder brace. She reviewed all medications with me as far as to when my wife needed to take them etc. She changed my wife's dressing and told me to do it the same way and told me I needed to go to a pharmacy and purchase 4" x 4" gauze and 2 in. wide paper tape. She made sure I understood it was paper tape so the tape didn't irritate the skin etc.

The nurse explained the gauze and tape should be removed every time for showering in case the wound would get wet. It was okay for the water to go on the wound or incision.

She showed me different ways to help with dressing.

Sleeping in the same bed was the most challenging, because of me possibly touching her shoulder or rolling over etc. Faith slept in a recliner that is made for the elderly with an electric switch to adjust. It is a recliner my Mother purchased when she needed it, but has since passed away.

The nurse at Sanford hospital, Fargo was very thorough and educational.

Physical Therapy is done with a therapist twice a week and he said she is doing great.

It is almost 3 weeks since surgery and Faith is driving again, but I take her to Dr. appointments and PT because of convenience for her by being able to drop her off at the door.

I prepare the meals, but she enjoys adding her two cents worth.

It is hard to put an amount of time devoted to caregiving, because it is just a part of being married and helping out wherever - making beds, washing clothes, dishes, putting on her socks, fastening her bra, putting on deodorant etc etc.

The best part of my experience is seeing her speedy recovery and her learning to be more patient and appreciating a lot of things taken for granted.

Caregiving is mostly common sense, and the nurse at Sanford provided me with the necessary tools for the more technical aspects.

Thank you asking.

Sincerely,

Jerry J Luebke

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